Log In

Share This Page


We had a little Hide-Away at Schoemanskloof Retreat

We had a little Hide-Away at Schoemanskloof Retreat

We had a little Hide-Away at Schoemanskloof Retreat

We had a little Hide-Away at Schoemanskloof Retreat

The Sociably team recently visited yet another gem in the Lowveld. We explored eight beautiful hiking routes, discovering cascading waterfalls and historical sites, and enjoyed secluded accommodation nestled in nature, all within an hour’s drive from Nelspruit.

Arriving at the retreat, I was awestruck by the property’s stunning beauty, with endless thrilling adventures right at our fingertips. We were warmly welcomed by our delightful host for the weekend, Dee Malcomess, who co-manages the property with her husband, Myron Cort, along with their two incredibly friendly fur babies which I couldn’t help but give loads of scratches to. Both Dee and Myron are nature lovers at heart, passionately dedicated to protecting the environment of their beloved property.

This beautiful property is situated on Falls Fish Farm, which used to be an avocado farm and has since grown a good reputation for breeding and selling good quality Goldfish and Koi. It took everything in me not to take a fish home after our visit, which can actually be arranged, talk about an awesome souvenir!

After marveling at the beautiful Bakoni Hide-Away, one of our accommodations for the weekend, we gathered around the warm firepit and soaked in the mesmerizing ambience of nature. Absorbing the serenity of our surroundings, the stress of the previous week melted away – an absolute breath of fresh air.

Schoemanskloof Retreat offers the charming bush Bakoni Hide-Away Cottage, as well as a homely stop-over cottage – The Old Shop. Both accommodations invite visitors to relish the treasures that the property has to offer.

The Bakoni Hide-Away is an off-the-grid retreat perched on the side of a mountain. I instantly envisioned a sundowner in the dreamy, autumn-painted bush with the stunning backdrop of the Schoemanskloof valley. The Hide-Away’s architecture was inspired by the numerous stone ruins in this region; all it needed was “Africa” by Toto playing in the background!  It can accommodate two adults and has two single mattresses for children. This lovely unit features a fully equipped kitchen with a gas stove, an inviting indoor fireplace, and a breathtaking shower. The Hide-Away was named after the pre-colonial Bakoni society in Mpumalanga known for their sophisticated civilization using intricate stonewalls and advanced agricultural practices.

The Old Shop Cottage, converted from an old 1930’s farm shop, instantly felt like home. The “farmhouse”-inspired unit brought back nostalgic memories of my childhood on farms. The quaint cottage boasts a lush, open lawn, with plenty of space for lawn games with loved ones, and a veggie patch to get the creative juices for the kitchen flowing. The cottage offers a fully equipped kitchen in an open plan kitchen/dining/lounge with a cast iron stove for warmth on cold nights.  It can accommodate 2 ideally, or three people in 2 inter-leading rooms, while a 4th can be squeezed in on a couch in the lounge.

On our first night, we gathered around a bonfire, sharing scary stories, asking each other crazy “would you rather” questions, and enjoying endless belly laughs. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend.

The Retreat boasts well-preserved archaeological stone-walled sites, which we absolutely loved discovering on our hike. One can’t help but wonder about their purpose; it’s always awe-inspiring to stand in the presence of history that dates back to the 16th century. The true beauty of these sites is that none of them look alike; each has its own purpose, its own story. The precision of the stones left us pondering how long it took to build these ruins and how many people it took to carry the large stones. One of the ruins clearly resembled a kraal, while another had a fascinating structure with a grinding stone in one of what appeared to be three interconnected stone circles.

Besides the stone-walled sites, we also enjoyed walks along streams, marveling at the diverse vegetation, from a wetland at the top of the mountain to lush greenery by the waters. We savoured a delicious lunchbox cheese charcuterie board and crackers, allowing us to absorb the beauty and indulge in the magnificent view from above a waterfall that flows into the Crocodile River.

We then made ourselves comfortable in front of the indoor fireplace, warming up with a glass of wine and playing many heart-racing rounds of Uno, a perfect way to unwind after a full day of exploring the property.

On our last day, we admired a gigantic Matumi tree, towering at 25 meters with a width of 17 meters (as measured last year by the Magalies Branch, Dendrological Society.), on a lovely walk along the Crocodile River that borders the bottom of the property and the neighbouring farm. We enjoyed yet another picnic by the river.

Our Sociably sleepover was unforgettable, surrounded by tranquility, nature, adventure, and warm hosts. We cannot wait to set foot on this magical soil again!

For more information and to book your stay at Schoemanskloof Retreat, click here: